Wet Scalpel

The First Cut is the Deepest

How to move 3000 emails from Windows to Gmail!

Posted by wetscalpel on October 31, 2006


Meh!

As you may have read, for reasons known only to Gmail, my original Gmail account was disabled.

Being a sucker for punishment, I still want my Gmail for both its archiving and storage capabilities. Setting up a new account was easy. Figuring out how to move the 3000 odd emails I have in Outlook express was another matter!

Naturally, I am not the first to try this (for which I am TRULY grateful!) and some judicious Googling helped me out. In essence, emails in outlook express (and outlook) are stored in what seems to be a non standard/proprietary format. Or at least one not in common with Mozilla’s Thunderbird and I guess Gmail. Therefore, the files need to be converted FIRST and then uploaded.

The way I did it was detailed here and here. In essence, I download and installed Firebird, Let it import all my outlook express emails (yep it left the originals in place) and then uploaded them to my new Gmail account using Gexodus .

Couple of pointers:-

Firstly, after installing Thunderbird and allowing it to convert my outlook-express files, I could not see them in the inbox area! I then had to IMPORT the files (about 3 seconds work) with the TOOLS -> IMPORT dialogue.

Next I went looking for the profile folder , and was surprised it seemed so small. It was only AFTER I opened each sub-folder in my Thunderbird email interface that the profile folder seemed to populate properly.

Secondly, I found the default SMTP server in Gexodus was unresponsive, and used gsmtp183.google.com instead.

I initially pointed the system at my Inbox file in my profile and set the system running.

It ticked away, about 200 emails – then stopped. Said it was finished ! HUH!

Then I figured it out – Gexodus does NOT recursively work its way down through the sub folders of the inbox – you have to select each one individually – if that’s the way you want to go. The easy solution – simply move ALL email from the sub folders to the inbox within Thunderbird.

The upshot – all my 3000 emails (including their attachments) are back in Gmail. The original sender IDs are intact. Unfortunately the Dates simply reflect the upload date; I can cope with that.

I am still using Outlook Express, and forward a copy of all incoming and outgoing email to Gmail as I outlined some time ago.

NOW if only Gmail can explain why they deactivated my old account in the first place!


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One Response to “How to move 3000 emails from Windows to Gmail!”

  1. [...] As promised, I have run through how I have done this. It’s on my other blog site at WordPress.com. [...]

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